(NerdWallet) – If you were planning to dye eggs this Easter, well, maybe opt for decorating some cookies instead. That’s because, after a year of climbing prices, the cost of eggs is still frustratingly high.
The average cost of a dozen large, Grade A eggs in February was $4.21, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ consumer price index, published March 14. That’s up — OK, way, way up — from $2.01 a year earlier.
Eggs aren’t alone when it comes to rising food costs; you’ve probably noticed that, on the whole, groceries are pricier. The index for groceries increased 10.2% year over year, according to the CPI report, which is a measure of the average change in prices paid by U.S. consumers.
Eggs, specifically, are now so expensive because of bird flu that started in January 2022 and has led to the deaths of nearly 59 million birds, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. So there’s a supply and demand issue, to say the least, and inflation hasn’t helped.
But there may be a light at the end of the fridge: Eggs are finally getting cheaper. While the egg index increased by 11.1% from November to December, it decreased by 6.7% from January to February, according to the CPI.
As for other Easter-related foods — that ham dinner may feel a touch pricier, as its index increased 3.3% from January to February. But, hey, prices for lettuce, dried beans, peas, and lentils are down since February. Good news if you want to go for a vegetarian menu.
If you’re feeling festive and want to shell out for expensive eggs to dye, at least make sure they’re safe to eat. Refrigerate hard-boiled eggs within two hours of cooking, and use them within one week, advises the Egg Safety Center, an organization representing commercial egg producers. Or just stick with the frosted cookies.